The Process versus the Product

Giuseppe Pinot Gallizio’s work titled ‘Rotolo di pittura industriale (Industrial Painting) was created in 1958.

Kazuo Shiraga’s image, titled ‘Work II,’ was also created in 1958.

Though both images may contain similar formal qualities in material and final depiction, they were created with far differing intents in mind.

Gallizio’s piece is composed using mixed forms of media, the finished product comprised of rolled canvas and paint, able to be rolled out and fully exposed or situated similarly to a paper-towel roll. This piece is considered to be installation art, dependent not only on it’s singular meaning but the environment in which it is placed - in this case, a room full of mirrors, lights, additional sounds and smells to create a full bodily experience for the viewer.

Not only was it intentionally situated in order to create a further experience for the viewer, it is meant as a remark to the capitalist ideas of production, outcome and consumption that were present in Gallizio’s time. These additional ideas drove Gallizio to allow for the cutting-up and subsequent sale of his ‘Industrial Painting,’ the destruction and reduction of the piece making further remarks to the stamp of Capitalism upon culture.

Shiraga’s piece, on the other hand, a part of the Gutai movement of post-war Japanese artists in the mid 1950’s, expresses a reaction to the tumultuous experiences of Japanese people surrounding and following the era of war. A form of expressionist artwork, Shiraga’s piece serves more as a record of performance rather than a finished and intentional product.

This piece, a part of a series of many similarly-created works, was made using only Shiraga’s feet with the help of the oil paint as a medium. In the context of this movement and intention, the focus of the viewer should be on understanding the motions and process of creation going into this image, rather than the final product that physically appears before us. ​ Though both Gallizio and Shiraga’s pieces were created in the year 1958, and may bear similar formal elements and qualities, it is clear that the intention and message behind each piece is quite different.

Both artists used their abilities to remark upon social situations surrounding or preceding their time. Gallizio’s piece is far more about the product and consumption of his work, while Shiraga’s focus is to highlight his process of creation and the emotion and expression that went into the production.